She’s a 12-year-old star who will soon be the third child from Kazakhstan to sing at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. And recently Karakat Bashanova sat down with us to discuss the competition and her big ballad “Forever”.

Karakat, who has been singing since she was five years old, takes nothing for granted — and that includes winning the national final. “All the participants were very talented and they had great songs,” she says. “For me it was important to be heard, not to win.”

But, of course, she did win — and that unleashed a wave of emotions that she can’t fully describe. “To be honest, I don’t really remember what I felt. The only thing that I remember is that I couldn’t express my feelings.”

Karakat Bashanova (Kazakhstan 2020) Interview

Ahead of the competition she made it clear to her composer Khamit Shangaliyev that she wanted to honour her father, who passed away a few years ago.

“We talked to him for more than an hour an he asked me what I wanted to sing about. I told him I wanted to dedicate my song to my father. The music video is about fathers that leave the world….and the kids waiting for them. I want to be heard because it’s my story. I think my song is going to become an ode for kids around the world.”

Such a story carries significant weight. She had to draw on all her inner resources to sing the number — and fulfil her wish to honour her dad.

“The first time it was really hard to perform this song. This is a really emotional song. It means a lot to me. But at that moment I thought, ‘What if my father could hear me?’ and how proud of me he would be. Then I forced myself to perform this song.”

What’s her advice for people struggling with the loss of a loved one?

“It’s really important to move on. Even though they are not with us, they are watching us, looking after us, and they are helping us and supporting us.”

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maladroite
maladroite
1 month ago

Such a sweet story, and such a sweet girl! I’m wishing her the best of luck

IHPIESC
IHPIESC
1 month ago

I wish that song will be high, or even win. Good luck from Poland! 😀

Colin
Colin
1 month ago

Beautiful song and very touching video! Bravo, Kazakhstan!

Ria van de Velde
Ria van de Velde
1 month ago

What a great interview !! I love her song “Forever”very much and I will vote for her. I think her father will be very proud of his lovely daughter !! Good Luck Karakat !! You are my favorite this year !!

William Lee Adams
William Lee Adams
1 month ago

Thank you for watching, Ria!

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

I love her name! And she lights up when she smiles. Her song seems to be at a quite high level.

Yudhistira Mahasena
1 month ago

Karakat sings about her father, who sadly passed away. The music video suggests that her father might have been a soldier before. Europe, please vote for her for her emotions and sincerity.

12 points from Indonesia!

Diabolo
Diabolo
1 month ago

You can also vote for her, as there will be an online voting where everyone all over the world can vote!

Neil
Neil
1 month ago

Wow! Very mature, I think the competition is between Spain, Poland, Belarus and Kazakhstan this year. Good Luck!

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Neil

You have forgotten The Netherlands and France , the most age appropriate. You’re certainly not the target but the kids are.

Kirby
Kirby
1 month ago

I want Kazakhstan to join ESC so badly!!!

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Kazakhstan could win this year.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

It’s a real possibility. They’re not coming to play. If the staging is as good as the video, they’re in it with a real shot.